N UMB E R 4
Dear Fellow Citizens of Our Pop-up Planet,
Music has its royalty. There's the "King of Rock 'n'
Roll" and the "Queen of Soul." And so do the other
industries, especially egotistical Hollywood. Who can
forget James Cameron's "I'm the King of the World"
speech in front of a global television audience several
years ago? As for our pop-up planet, do we have a
"movable monarchy?" I think I have the answer — and I
found it the hard way.
It all started with an innocuous (so I thought) sentence
I wrote for the Andrew Baron article. Buried somewhere
in the middle of my write-up, it read: "Shouldn't the heir
to the movable crown have the portraits of Messrs. Lothar
Meggendorfer and Julian Wehr on his wall instead of Will
As a courtesy,
I cleared the entire
Andy. After all, I
writer AND a
of our pop-up
planet. Unlike some
members of the
press, I don't
relish the idea
anyone in an
position. And this
out titles like
"Queen of the
"King of the Pop-ups."
Boy Rogers. The future "King of
Invertebrate Anthropod-ups" at
age 3. David A. Carter wrote: "I
can assure you that I am not this
cute any more."
David A. Carter astutely observes: "The term 'King
of Pop-up' is used a bit too freely as far as I am concerned
The publicity department of my publisher has also used it
to refer to me, which I discouraged." David comments on
the absurdity of this practice: "They [the press] then got in
trouble when Robert Sabuda showed up. What would they
call him, the Crown Prince?" And that is what exactly
happened. Publishers Weekly stuck on him the "Prince of
Paper" label. Ellen Rubin reports that Robert was "dubbed
that when he was barely 30 years old." But I'm (we're)
getting ahead of myself (ourselves).
Andy wrote back: '"...the heir to the movable crown...'
is a little over the top, I think. If Ann wants to edit this
out, I for one, have no objections and would support the
move. I don't think the movable crown will be moving
anytime soon." I had already submitted the article to Ann
Montanaro, so I ignored Andy's comments, hoping he
would re-read the sentence and eventually see where I was
coming from. He wrote a few hours later: "In fact, might
we change those words? I'm a little self-conscious. What
would Robert's fans (myself included) think?"
1, being a Robert fan myself, quickly countered with
this reply: "I insist on retaining '...the heir to the movable
crown...' for four (4) simple reasons. First, I wrote
'movable crown' and NOT 'pop-up crown.' It is
undeniable that Robert Sabuda currently wears (and will
probably wear for a loooong, loooong time) the pop-up
crown. ' In fact, I'd be the first one to challenge any person
who doesn't think so. The press calls him the 'Prince of
Paper,' I call him the 'King of New York.'"
(Author's Note: In the said article, I referred to Andy
as the "Baron of Santa Fe" — obviously a play on his
surname and the city he lives in. Since Robert resides in
the Big Apple, for parallelism purposes, I refer to him as
the "King of New York." I would like to state
categorically here that this "King of New York" monicker
is NOT entirely about pop-ups. In the spring of 1998, I
was on my way to watch "The Lion King" when I met
Robert for the first time in New York City. But that's
another story for another article.)
I'd like to think that everyone by now (except for those
who haven't heard about the New York Times bestseller
lists yet) knows Robert currently wears the "pop-up
crown." Continued on page 12
The Movable Book Society
Movable Stationery is the quarterly publication of The
Movable Book Society. Letters and articles from members
on relevant subjects are welcome. The annual membership
fee for the society is $20.00. For more information
contact: Ann Montanaro, The Movable Book Society, P.O.
Box 1 1654, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08906.
Daytime telephone: 732-445-5896
Evening telephone: 732-247-6071
The deadline for the next issue is February 15.
A Visit to Ampersand Books
Livingston, New Jersey
Visiting Ampersand Books, in Ludlow, England is a
movable book collector's dream come true. My wish is
that all of you could have this experience, but since
obviously you can't, let me tell you about my day with
Megan and Michael Dawson.
Megan and Michael Dawson at
Brooklyn exhibit, 2000
Ampersand Books was started by Megan and Michael
in 1982. The company which specializes in dimensional
and interactive books - pop-ups, movable and children's
novelty books, basically sells through his website,
www.AmpersandBooks.co.uk and his cataloge. Some of
his books are classics of the last part of the 20th century,
but many are wonderful examples of paper engineering
from the 1920s to the 1960s, with some rare early 19th
century children's books.
Before leaving on our trip to London, I contacted
Michael and asked if it would be possible for us to visit
him. He answered "Yes" promptly, but informed me that
Ludlow, was about a three hour train ride from London.
After many e-mails back and forth, our visit was finalized.
We were invited for lunch and Michael was kind enough to
say he would meet us at the train.
The day we had decided to visit Ampersand, turned out
to be a bank holiday, sort of like our Labor Day, so the train
schedule was slightly different. From Paddington Station, we
caught the 9:00 train to Newport, where we were to make a
connection to Ludlow. After arriving too late to make our
10:59 connection, because of cows on the track, we called
Michael and made the next train, at 1 1:59. On our arrival,
he met us and drove us through the town. It looked lovely
and would have been a wonderful place to walk around in,
but we never had time to do this.
We soon arrived at Michael and Megan Dawson's
delightful home. Ludford Mill is an old converted mill, with
the wheel still kept as part of the house. Old beams are
everywhere and the house is full of light and charm. Megan's
gardens are beautiful, terraced with colors aglow in every
corner, with a river passing it by. It is an English dream
Megan had prepared a lovely lunch for us, a poached
salmon salad with cucumber. It was perfect! We then
presented Michael with The Paper Jewelry Collection, a
book I purchased at the American Craft Museum in N.Y.C.,
thinking it would be unavailable in London. I had seen it
since in our search through other English bookstores, but
with a different cover. (This is something I found that you
have to watch for when purchasing books in England. Many
of them are the same inside as ones that are published in the
U.S. A., but have different covers.) Luckily, Michael didn't
have it and was pleased with our gift.
After lunch and tea Michael led me to his oak-beamed
treasure room. While Megan took my husband outside and
gave him a garden tour, I wallowed in movable books
finding one treasure after another. I won't tell you how many
I eventually purchased, but it was more than I could possibly
take home, so we had to ship them. I was in a movable book
After sifting through hundreds of books and picking
those I couldn't live without, Michael allowed us to view his
private collection. Having access to many sources I am sure
his is one of the finest collections. Many Bookano, Kubasta,
and other books difficult to find are on his shelves.
By this time, even I was slightly booked out and would
have loved to browse in the town but it was time for us to
start back. By the way, there is a well-known town of books,
Hay-on-Wye, less than an hour's drive from Ludow. Michael
did also mention that he hopes, some time in the nature, to
have a room available as a B & B for those people who
would like to visit Ampersand. Continued on page 5
The Mao in Black
Adie C. Pena
Makati City, the Philippines
His self-promo material calls M
him "a creative force in children's |o
book publishing for over two ^
decades" but his namesake
Graham Marks in Publishing
News has dubbed him the
"King of the Pop-ups."
Graham Brown quickly
clarifies that this epithet
was "really a
on my e-mail
referring to the
most humbly admits:
"I think I have added
(to) and been formative
in the pop-up world but (I) wouldn't M
take the title of 'king.' This can
only really be attributed to Wally
(Hunt). Without him none of us
would be in the business as it
probably wouldn't exist."
He'd really rather be
known as "the Man in Black."
(No, it has nothing to do with
the "demon" in his e-mail address
either.) He explains: "I never
wear anything but black.. .it
became an image thing and
goes nicely up against Ron's red
shoes" — undeniably an allusion
to Ron van der Meer's famous
these pop-up people a
So what's a
day in the life
of a "creative
struggle through an unnerving 2-hour
commute to work, the 53-year old ("1
don't normally divulge that but I was
born in 1948") Man in Black takes a
leisurely 5-minute stroll everyday
from his "large Victorian house"
to his office ~ a "converted
Victorian Court House in South
I arrive about 7:30 a.m., go
through my overnight
e-mails and reply,
read my mail, faxes
and respond." (For 3
days in August, I
became an active
participant in this dairy
morning ritual - with
Graham in England, and
me in the Philippines. Each
one trapped in another time
zone, I would e-mail my
questions at Manila
morning time; and Graham
would respond seven or so
hours later at London
In spite of his very
busy schedule ("I
travel either on
12 weeks a year so
quite a bit of my time is
spent in organizing trips; and
meetings; and, of course, creating
and costing new formats."), Graham
was accommodating enough to accede
to a "virtual" interview, and to
efficiently answer my e-mailed queries.
("My mousepad has a tasteful black-
and-white shot of 6 bikini-clad
girls on the beach that my wife
bought me [I hasten to add not
pornographic] from Harvey
probably why BWJ's
at his computer.
Continued on page 8
The Iowa Series,
or How a Tornado Spawned Five Books
By Emily Martin
Iowa City, Iowa
I come to making books from a painting background.
I have been working with narrative images for more than
20 years. For the last 10 years I have been moving back
and forth between painting, sculpture, artists' books, print
making and writing. Images begun in one format will
often appear, modified, in another format. Particularly in
the book structures the content, whether visual or text or
both, and the formats are always working in tandem.
In 2000 I finally finished what started as a pair of
books and eventually became a series of five books with
similar texts, using different movable/sculptural
structures. It began with the idea of a tornado. I live in
Iowa and when I travel, I often get questions along the
lines of "how can you stand to live there." So late in 1 998,
I decided it was time to address my affection for my state
in an artists' book. Because I started with the tornado
image, almost immediately I had ideas for two different
formats, the pop-up tornado and the drawn tornado on
Mylar for a tunnel book.
As I was fine-tuning the text for those two books, I
realized the text alone would fit well in a woven flexagon
format, a fairly simple format that can be produced
quickly and cheaply, using photocopies on card stock. The
book can be read as an accordion book with all the
complaints visible and the rebuttals hidden, or the woven
sections can be opened and read page by page with the
complaints and rebuttals viewed in combination. So the
book, Hike It. Here, ( 1 998, 3 3 A" x 2 %"), an open edition,
became the first of the Iowa books and I now had a set of
Thinking about the woven flexagon also reminded me
of similarities with the Jacob's ladder format and the
series jumped to four. I'll talk more about that later.
The second Iowa book is the tunnel book, Life in Iowa,
(1999, 4" x 7", edition of 50). I painted a set of five
watercolor landscapes, which were scanned and printed by
color Xerox and then hand assembled. The rain and the
tornado were drawn, scanned and printed on Mylar. The
text for the tunnel book is as follows:
I live in Iowa. 1 always have. 1 probably always will.
This is not easily understood by others:
The winters are cold and seemingly endless.
It's damp in the spring.
There can be floods. Summers are hot and humid.
Tornadoes are terrifying.
And in the fall everything dies.
Yes, the weather can be truly awful much of the time.
However, the human climate is sublime.
The last line is borrowed from my husband's graduate school
mentor who lived the first half of his life in New York City.
The third book, I Live in Iowa, (1999, 7" x 8H", edition
I Live in Iowa
of 10) is a pop-up book made of using paste paints and
various pop-ups. The houses are constructed from natural
cover weight flax paper made at the University of Iowa's
Papermaking facility. The first panel for winter is a set of
simple horizontal V pop-ups of snowdrifts engulfing a
house. I made the flood by draping paste paper sheets over
a cylinder pop-up to form a tidal wave. The blazing sun is
suspended above the house, with an extension from the
horizontal box pop-up; bright yellow cotton strings are
attached to represent sun rays. The tornado is constructed of
black wire coiled to pop up.
While I was involved in the production of the pop-up
components, I got a call from the people at Columbia
College Book Center in Chicago. They wanted me to teach
a carousel workshop and needed an example of one of my
books for the publicity. I hadn't actually ever used the format
for an edition, although I have been teaching the assembly
for years. So, the carousel book How Can I Live in Iowa?
(1999, 5" x 7", edition of 25) arose from that request and
there were now five Iowa books.
The landscapes are colored pencil drawings of landscapes
that were scanned and printed onto Mohawk Superfine using
archival ink jet cartridges and then hand cut and assembled.
Each of the segments has a front frame with the text and two
shaped middle ground panels and then the solid background
panel. The house on the tornado page is literally torn from
its ground and attached upside down to the Mylar.
How Can I Live in Iowa?
Ampersand Books, continued from page 2
The train ride back was uneventful, passing interesting
towns, houses and old railroad stations. Luckily we had
reserved seats, because many people were standing. English
trains are wonderful, each car is clean and has its own
bathroom. After changing, with no problem this time, we
arrived back at Paddington Station at the tail end of the
Notting Hill Carnival, a huge Carribean fest. The line to get
a taxi was three streets long, because people were also
coming in from Heathrow Airport, coming back from the
three day holiday and going home from the fair. Luckily our
favorite taxi driver had agreed to pick us up and we quickly
located him. What a wonderful day! Thank you Michael
and Megan Dawson for a great visit.
The Jacob's ladder ended up being the last one to be
produced, even though the ideal and preliminary work was
begun at the start of the series. The friend that I do
letterpress printing with had a stroke the week before we
were to start printing. So the rest of the Iowa books moved
ahead and this book was put on hold. I am pleased to say
that my friend has recovered enough to be my advisor
during the printing. This book is called Yes, I Live in Iowa
(2000, 2" x 7", edition of 25). I made two patterns, to be
made into polymer plates for letterpress printing. The two
patterns were layered in different colors on each of the
panels, with the text printed on top in black. I wanted the
Jacob's ladder to be printed letterpress on two kinds of
flax paper for strength and durability.
The straps of the Jacob ladder conceal half of the text at
any given time. There are four possible sides, two visible
at a time. The book can be viewed page by page and can
also be flipped back and forth as a Jacob's ladder. And so
at last the five books have all been completed.
Yes, I Live in Iowa
[See more of Emily Martin's work online at:
In the summer of 2001, an exhibit of pop-up books from
the collection of Raphael Griinzweig was held in Ra'anana
(Israel) Municipal Town Hall, Art Gallery Yad Lebanim
Memorial Center. The exhibition spread over two floors in
27 cases and included about 100 books. Thousands of
visitors viewed the exhibition, including 60 organized school
groups with students of kindergarten age to a university
design department. It was also featured in a magazine, five
television shows, and newspapers.
A 40-page exhibition catalog Toy Books from the
Collection of Raphael Griinzweig: Pop-ups, Moveable, 3-D
& Novelty Books was published by the Ra'anana Culture
Department. The catalog includes pictures of black and
white covers throughout the catalog as well as eight full-
color pages. While the text of the catalog is in Hebrew, most
of the books shown in the catalog are in English. The
catalog was issued in three separate editions. The first
edition of 500 copies was destroyed by the printer because of
printing errors. (The author retained eight to ten copies as
souvenirs.) The second edition of 500 copies was completely
sold out. From that edition, about 250 copies were sold or
presented to libraries in Israel, 100 went to the media
(newspapers, television, radio, etc.), and the rest were sold
to the public. The third edition included a larger
bibliography was printed in an edition of 350 copies. The
third edition is almost all sold.
Some copies of the second and third editions are
available from Raphael Griinzweig for $25 (US) or £15
(UK). However, rather than selling the catalog, he is
interested in swapping pop-up, shaped, or miniature books
with readers in exchange for the catalog. Raphael can be
contacted at P.O. Box 80, Ra'anana 43100, Israel. His fax
number is 972-9-7719001. He does not have email.
f - - "■ ';.
Mr if "^H
. ItwSAS 1' t5.».£2>A .
Connecticut Book Fair
I attended the 10 th Annual Connecticut Children's
Book Fair, November 10-11, 2001, on the campus of the
University of Connecticut at Storrs.
Robert Sabuda and
Matthew Reinhart were
among the authors and
and they did a joint
presentation on pop-ups.
First they demonstrated
simple pop-ups using the
two basic elements of paper
engineering: the layer and
the v-fold. Robert folded
and cut the paper, then
handed it to Matthew to draw and color in an image. One
was a triple layer which turned into a birthday cake. A
double v-fold became a chicken eating a worm. The
children were sitting or laying on the floor and really
enjoyed the playful demo.
The second part of their presentation was a slide show
about how a pop-up book is made. Robert explained the
first stage, where they work out the ideas (in this case for
the Beetles and Butterflies books). They don't start with
sketches, but with actual pop-ups, so they can see if they
are going to work, and how they look within the book.
Then Matt talked about his use of watercolor for the
illustrations, and how they are adapted to match Robert's
cut-outs by scanning into a computer.
Then came the most
amazing part of the
presentation. Each painstaking
step in the process of printing
and assembling the pop-up
book was explained. They used
Matthew's photos from their
trip to the printing company in
Colombia. Each part of each
pop-up in the book is
transferred to a wood block.
The outlines are burned
through with a laser beam. Then thin pieces of metal with
sharp edges are fitted into the space of the outline. As
each sheet is printed, the metal perforates the outlines.
Then with a sledge hammer, a stack of sheets is pounded
to release the cut-out parts. They are banded together and
set aside. In the assembly room, many people are seated next
to each other. They work on one spread at a time; a person
puts in the first part, then hands the spread to the next
person for the next piece, and so on. There are supervisors
who check to make sure the spreads actually work. Robert
said they can produce about 10,000 a books a week!
After the presentation I got to talk with both Matt and
Robert, and got my copy of The Movable Mother Goose
personally autographed. As I told Robert, I felt inspired after
their presentation. Although learning paper engineering is
difficult, I felt renewed commitment to create a book. Now
it's time to get to work!
Carvajal to Discontinue
The Board of Directors of Cargraphics, a Carvajal Group
Company, has discontinued its Hand Labor operation, better
known as "The Pop-up Book Division" (Libros Animados).
Cargarphics Hand Labor Division was founded in 1968.
Printing, die-cutting, and hand labor work was performed in
Colombia, South America. In 1993 another hand labor plant
was opened in Ibarra, Ecuador but the printing and die-
cutting remained in Colombia.
During the history of the Cargraphics Hand Labor
Operation, the company successfully produced books for
publishers, packagers, and brokers located mainly in Europe
and the United States. The pop-up books were printed in 32
different languages and distributed all over the world.
In recent years, due to the high cost of operating in
Colombia and Ecuador, as well as increased competition
from different countries in Asia, mainly in Hong Kong and
China, the Cargraphics Hand Labor Business not been
profitable. Therefore, the company has announced its plans
to discontinue the Hand Labor Division of Cargraphics
starting in the year 2002.
Cargraphics will concentrate its efforts and resources on
more profitable areas and activities of the graphics arts field,
as well as publishing.
2002 Conference Planning
I have been asked to help plan the program for the
2002 Movable Book Society conference in Milwaukee. I
would like to have suggestions from members about topics
to be covered there. The topics at the first three
conferences are listed below as a guide. Please let me
know what you would like to see more of, less of, or
instead of. Please be as specific as possible. I would also
like to hear from any members (authors, book dealers,
collectors) who have a topic they would be willing to
present at the conference.
Roy C. Dicks,
930 Wimbleton Drive
Raleigh, NC 27609
History of pop-ups and movables:
96- Carol Barton - overview
98 - Robert Sabuda - overview
98 - Howard Rootenberg - Medical and scientific
00 - Owen Gingerich - volvelles
Illustrator/Paper Engineer presentation:
96 - Robert Sabuda- Twelve Days of Christmas
96 - Joan Irvine - lessons from her how-to books
98 - Chuck Murphy - Jack and the Bean Stalk
98 - Pat Paris - Hallmark books
00 - Kees Moerbeek - The Spooky Scrapbook
00- Andrew Baron - Circus! and The Hobbit
00 - Robert Sabuda - Brooklyn Pops Up
00 - Pam Pease - The Garden is Open
Care, repair and preservation:
96 - Joanne Page -repair
96 - Maria Pisano - making storage cases
00 - Joanne Page - repair
Book dealer sales, marketing and valuing:
96 - Elizabeth Wessels, Bookfinders International
98 - Ed Hutchins
00 - Debra Weier and Lois Morrison
98 - Betty Traganza - Hallmark books
98 - Ellen Rubin - pop-ups for grownups - erotica
00 - Adie Pena - music-related collectibles
Will Rise In
1 he pop-up Transamerica Corporation Tower in the
September 8, 1986 issue ofTime magazine, that is.
Victoria Gilbert, media director of the advertising agency
Delia Femina Travisano & Partners, brought along some
children's pop-up books to a client meeting, hoping to
convince the insurance company to run a three-dimensional
representation of the San Francisco skyline within the pages of
a widely-circulated weekly magazine. The Transamerica
executives bought her idea and the rest, as they say, is
Just one of the numerous untold stories you'll be hearing
at the pop-up advertising exhibit, scheduled in the fall of 2002
at the Eisner Museum of Advertising and Design in Milwaukee.
Make your plans now for that much-needed (commercial)
break next September. And enjoy three days of movable
feasts, friends and fun!
THE 4TH MOVABLE BOOK
SEPTEMBER 19 - 21, 2002
Graham Brown, continued from page 3
"My staff arrive around 9 a.m. and we go through the
jobs in hand that need chasing or acting on. Illustrators
are talked to, printers scheduled, current jobs looked over,
etc. This takes most of the morning." Graham
appreciatively talks about some members ofhis "dedicated
team of full-time staff' who have worked with him for the
past 14 to 16 years.
Like a proud papa, he starts enumerating them: "Jan
who does the DTP work and deals with the many
international co-edition work. Ruth, a talented paper
engineer and a recent talent in computer illustration.
Mike, a licensed character illustrator who has worked on
the majority of the Disney books. Lisa, a new member of
the team aids as a PA and production manager — a vital
role in the life of a packaging firm." He probably has all
their pictures in his wallet.
Spread from Barbie's Busy Week
"After lunch (usually at a "local restaurant"), I do
telephone conversations with customers and suppliers and
send e-mails. As I do the majority of my work in the USA,
this takes me through to usually around 7:30-8 p.m." I've
always believed that a man who puts in long hours at the
office rightfully deserves a home 5 minutes away.
As in any "real" interview, the location is often a
springboard for conversation. Graham gamely sends jpegs
ofhis office. "My walls are mostly shelves which are lull
of books [my own and others]; and lots of toys - mostly
collectible freebies I've received from movie launches and
promotional parties. Also people buy me playable
things.. .soft toys, figures, wind-ups, reproduction antique
toys, as well as license characters I've worked on."
Behind some ofhis toys rests a framed color picture
of wife Ailsa "in front of the pyramids in Egypt." (Yes,
the woman who gave him the non-pornographic
mousepad.) "She plays the role of critic, wife, friend and
supporter of my strange life. She worked for a number of
years with me when we started up a publishing house doing
the sales and playing the role of publisher. I have a son
called Gavin. He's 30 years old and works in the
telecommunications business; (and is) currently living in
On another shelf are dozens of watches. "I have over
45. It just happened that I kept wanting to buy neat watches.
Some serious, some fun. I have ten Disney Frankfurt
watches [they do a special watch every year], some
off-the-wall fun watches, a few 1930s Bulovas, a
Mondavo..." Who says busy executives don't have any time
"My over large desk is usually full of e-mails, faxes,
notes and scribbles of ideas. I find filing tends to put things
out of memory. I do tidy twice a week for the cleaner to get
to my desk." Aside from the setting, Graham would likewise
provide the soundtrack for this "interview" by volunteering
the following tidbit: "I hate working in silence and have
music on all day. (I listen to) 60s soul, blues, jazz and
contemporary (artists) like Prince, All Saints, En Vogue and
Keb Mo; as well as a great radio station called Jazz FM."
Graham describes his musical taste as "very eclectic."
To get into the groove, I slip an R&B CD into my
laptop as I learn more about the MiB.
Everyone knows that a person's musical preferences are
usually clues to when he went to school. Graham's on-line
profile states: "Having left art college in 1969 (didn't the
man just say "60s soul"?) with a degree in graphic design,
he immediately went freelance.. .working in the areas of
advertising, corporate and magazine design under the name
Graham adds that "Alias Design dealt mainly with
commercial design and corporate company logos and
letterheads." I ask if has designed a logo that's recognized
worldwide and he modestly replies: "Sorry, no... I wasn't that
big a design company." Apparently the big one was yet to
After a "chance meeting" with fellow designers/
illustrators Mick Wells and Phil Jacobs, the three formed
Brown Wells & Jacobs in 1978. "Combining the skills of
illustration, design, typography and marketing," the new
company initially did "illustration jobs for Hamlyn and
Intercontinental Books among others. After doing these
projects we started to actively look for publishing jobs and
started going to the book fairs. It wasn't long before we
wanted to design and package books of our own."
"The first two pop-up books we packaged for Hamlyn
were My First Pop-up Book OfOpposites (1984) and My
First Pop-up Book Of Together s (1984). Mick and I
designed and illustrated them. The second pop-up we did
was The Ultimate Pop-up Cocktail Book (1984) for Ward
Lock." The "Ultimate" book, which featured cocktail
recipes, was perhaps one of the first pop-up books that
would tackle an above- 18 subject matter.
I mention to Graham the July 12, 2001 Los Angeles
Times article by Jeannine Stein wherein she talks about "a
coming-of-age for pop-ups, once considered the domain of
the under- 10 set but always a secret pleasure for adults."
Does he agree with the "coming-of-age" observation? "As
I did three 'adult' pop-ups in the 80s (the aforementioned
Cocktail Book in 1984; Elvis and Tke Beatles in 1985),
I've always felt there was a very good market for adult
pops." Yes, Ms. Stein, the Man in Black was already
creating pop-ups for grown-ups 17 years ago!
In the mid-80s, two back-to-back developments kept
the MiB ever so busy - a relationship was formed with
Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York; and his two partners
moved on to "other creative areas" which allowed Graham
to run BWJ on his own.
"The Weather Pop-up Book, produced for Simon &
Schuster in 1986, was one of the first real 'scientific'
non-fiction pop-ups treating a complicated subject
intelligently for the older child." He tacks on this piece of
trivia: "It even used a celebrity author [Francis Wilson]
who still heads the Weather (Section) on Sky News."
Graham picks up from where he left off: "This led to
a large range of similar books from both BWJ and other
packagers. We continued this range [A Three-Dimensional
Atlas of the World (1988); Planet Earth (1989); The
Power Pop-up Book ( 1 99 1 ); and Global Warning ( 1 992)]
for over 5 years with Simon & Schuster. (These books)
only recently went out of print."
In 1989, the House of Mouse called up the Man in
Black. Impressed by the "major new formats" initiated by
BWJ, the Walt Disney Company forged a partnership that
would "strengthen and develop (BWJs) creative
talents... and (allow the company) to go into many other
licensed character formats." Of the many projects he's
done for Disney, Graham is very proud of the 'Top-up
Pals" format he did for "Mouse Works" over a 5-year
period. "(It) was unique in the way it provided a
wonderfully constructed pop-up book at a very good
budget price that's not really been improved on or
When Ann Montanaro gave me this assignment, she
noted: "it would be interesting to know what happened to the
Disney contract that kept BWJ very busy several years ago."
I didn't need to ask the question. Graham, on his own
volition, revealed: "I'm not working directly with Disney
(anymore) but (I) have now taken on the role of novelty book
producer for Random House which includes their Disney
list. We are working on two pop-ups for next year. One is a
heart-shaped pop using the Disney Princess characters; the
other is for 'Treasure Planet.' I (likewise) still produce books
for the International Disney licensees."
Though Michael Wells and Philip Jacobs are long gone
from BWJ, not only do their names remain on the door but
so do their professional ties. "We still all work together on
projects. I still use both Mick and Phil for illustration and
some design work. V currently working with Mick on
illustration work for two mini-pop boardbooks for Random
House — Thomas the Tank Engine and Buzz Lightyear. Phil
did the art on a book called Gel Pen Studio this year [not
a pop-up]; and will be working on My First Book of Cookie
Fun this fall."
Do you have a "wish lisf'of topics you would like to
pop up? "Yes, there are a number of subjects that I think
would make wonderful books and most are more adult in
nature. I don't think I can be fully open on their actual
subjects in an open article." When pressed to give at least
one example, he laughs out loud and asserts: "I don't know
anything that wouldn't be suitable if treated right. After all,
I have just done a birthing book."
Spread from Who am I? Where Did I Come From?
The "birthing book" is Who Am I? Wfiere Did I Come
From? — the pop-up volume by sex therapist Dr. Ruth K.
Westheimer. Described in pre-publication press articles as "a
story for children about where babies come (from)." this
much-awaited movable was scheduled for a Spring 2001
release, was postponed to July 2001, and then moved to fall
Why the numerous postponements? He assures me:
"We are shipping right now. The delay was due to the
money problems Golden was going through which have
now been resolved by Golden being acquired by Random
House." (According to a July 26 Reuters dispatch,
Random House Inc. and Classic Media Inc. made an
eleventh-hour bid for the assets of the bankrupt Golden
Books. But what makes this seemingly boring business
story terribly interesting are the players involved. Keith J.
Kelly of the New York Post reported: "[Current Golden
chairman Dick] Snyder, an acerbic [sic] one-time CEO of
Simon & Schuster, has been a bitter rival of Random
House throughout his publishing career. Adding to his
discomfort, Classic Media CEO Eric Ellenbogen once
worked for Snyder at Golden Books, but left after a falling
out with Snyder." Ooops! There goes another
"Golden"parachute. But I digress.)
Corporate politics aside, will it be worth the wait for
us collectors? "As a collectible pop-up, (the Doctor Ruth
book) isn't what I would say was one of much complexity.
It is more about subject than actual mechanics." Any other
BWJ books that we should look out for? "I have produced
about 10 lift-the-flap/pop-up books in the last 12 months.
My favorites are Scooby Doo: The Pyramid Mysteiy
through Golden; and Let's Look At Wild Animals and
Let's Look Under The Sea obtainable from Borders in the
US, Social Clubs in Australia and Beascoa in Spain.
"Animals" and "Sea" are two of the most complicated [in
terms of paper usage, etc.] I have done for a number of
years. I also have a Barbie book coming out next month
with Golden [which I think is a very exciting new form of
pop-up for the older child] called Barbie's Busy Week."
Spread from Let's Look at Wild Animals
I ask him to name a favorite book artist or paper
engineer. "I worked with Vic Duppa-Whyte on The
Legend of King Arthur and the Round Table (1987). I
enjoyed the collaboration greatly because he was a brilliant
paper engineer and a very laid-back guy. Unfortunately, he
died before it was completed. I was still quite young and it
was a great learning experience. In my opinion he was
probably the most original and creative paper engineer
He reminisces: "We enjoyed being creative over a beer
in his local pub." So, do you still drink? "Red wine and lots
of it." Any particular brand? "Rhone Valley is preferred." A
wine cellar in the house? "Not really a cellar but quite a
large store." Ron van der Meer should have dedicated his
Hugh Johnson's Pop-up Wine Book (1989) to this guy!
Any other pop-up celebrities? "I admire the work of
Robert (Sabuda) and Ron (van der Meer). I think Robert has
done some magical work with Simon & Schuster. I
particularly liked the two Christmas books [The Christmas
Alphabet (1994) and 12 Days of Christmas (1996)]. They
have a purist quality and celebrate the art of paper
engineering without being detracted by the artwork. Ron's
art book for DK [ The Kids ' Art Pack ( 1 997)] was also a very
inspirational book even though it didn't use a lot of
Is there a fairly recent pop-up title (not by BWJ) that
you wish you were part of? "I would have liked to have been
involved in The New York Pop-up Book (1999) as it was a
great project." Given the much-publicized California Pop-up
Book and Ron's long-planned Holland Pack, how about a
"London Pop-up Book?" "If you can find a publisher to fund
it then it would be a great book." He quickly reminds me: "I
actually did a little fun book entitled Pop-up London in
1984." (I was tempted to tell Graham that I had his Pop-up
Scotland in my collection minus the aforementioned
companion volume. Thankfully, my propriety got in the
Is there a published BWJ book, if given the chance, you
would redo? "Most of them on reflection but then being a
packager entails many compromises." For instance? "The
upcoming Doctor Ruth book is a typical example of too
many designers getting involved. The finished book only
contains 2 of the 8 pops I originally designed. Most of them
being replaced with flaps."
Are there really less pop-ups worth collecting
nowadays, or is it just me? "There really are less around due
to a number of factors. Number one: The market is generally
now below age 5. Two: Cost issues effect design and
manufacturing. Three: A reluctance by publishers to buy
pop-ups. Four: When they buy pop-ups they want low price
points. These are obviously generalizations but are the
main causes for there being less around."
What have you done to address these issues? "Well,
for the last 3 years I have done far more novelty books
[mainly non-fiction and aimed at the under 5 market] than
pop-ups and movables. In the last 12 months I have done
something in the region of 64 titles and only about 10
would be classified as pop-ups. I've also been very
successful in the mini-pop boardbooks having now done
32 titles for various publishers and probably printed in the
region of 3 to 4 million units. A good example of the
points I raised before [about age, cost, etc.], these are
essentially 'V pops in a boardbook."
What do you see outside your office window? "A few
rooftops, lots of trees and skyline. We are in a very
wooded area of London and are situated on a hill so 1 can
see quite a long way." What do you see in your movable
crystal ball? "There will always be a role for movable
books as long as the subject matter and design works well
and captures the public taste."
Anything else? "Licensed characters will still remain
a valid area for the pop-up format as the hype and
publicity help (increase) the quantities produced." And
"pop-ups for grown-ups?" "If the market would accept
both the cost and the principle, (the adult genre) could be
a very exciting (one)."
And new talent? "There are also a lot of designers
coming out of art college who have studied paper
engineering in their course. This is bringing about a lot of
advertising work that can be classified as pop-ups. Maybe
they will move into books at a later stage." The Man in
Black is obviously talking from experience.
Any up-and-coming pop-up personalities? lc No
names. I'm just aware that I'm getting more and more
mail shots containing simple pop-ups and mechanics.
There are also a number of courses at art colleges today;
as well as a course project [one of the choices is to design
a pop-up book for children] at secondary school. I get
about 40 to 50 letters a year from school children [they
find me I presume on the Web] asking advice for their
project. Interestingly 98% (are) female as traditionally
there have been only a few female paper engineers."
By the way, as a child, what was the very first pop-up
book you ever owned? "Unfortunately I don't have a
memory of pop-ups as a child. My first interest was at art
college (Leicester College of Art and then Ravensbourne
College of Art) in the 60s." Any specific title or artist?
"No. I don't think I had developed a sense of names and
personalities (then). I just saw it as a way of doing original
What does your family think of the work you do? "I've
never really asked. It's a fairly interesting career that has
given us the opportunity for a reasonably good life. My wife
thinks I work far to long and hard but appreciates the
vagaries of the business."
Spread from Let's Look Under the Sea
If you could have any job you wanted, what would it
be? "The one I have. I work with some great people, great
properties (i.e. licensed characters, movies, etc.) and get to
travel the world." The Man in Black surely travels a lot.
Two days after the "interview," as a courtesy, I e-mailed the
first draft of my write-up to Graham. He wrote back: "I'm in
Spain but will read (the article) again over the weekend." He
replied a day later with a few "suggested changes" plus this
bit of info: "You'll be glad to know its 33C (degrees
Centigrade) here and I'm just post lunch." It's almost
midnight-snack time here in the Philippines and the man is
talking about lunch in Spain. Tengo mucha hambre ahora.
Any regrets? "Not really regrets. Maybe a bit more
financially successful but all in all I've had a comfortable life
and what better way than spending your time creating for
kids. I found I had the ability to still retain a wonder and
naivete in my thinking that still makes me smile."
The hesitant heir to the pop-up throne finally discloses:
"There is a satisfying idea that a career like mine gives a
certain longevity in that there will be books around on
people's shelves for many years and that I've given some fun
to adults and children over the years." Expect more fun from
the Man in Black in the years to come.
Royalty, continued from page 1
Note that I wrote "currently," meaning the crown is NOT
permanently his. And we are talking about a crown of
success and NOT a crown of succession (i.e. royalty).
I continued: "Second, I'd like to think that aside from
being a very self-assured (albeit humble — uh-huh, he
blushes when praised!) person, Robert definitely knows
the distinction between "pop-up" and "movable" hence
will not even flinch when he sees the "movable crown"
phrase. Third, as I've just mentioned, there is a BIG
books and pop-up
their salt would
surely know that.
Now, as for the
BLIND (yes, pun
'fans' who won't
be able to SEE
too bad! Ignorance
At this stage, I
was tempted to
share with Andy
what I knew.
last year, Robert
intimated to me
that he believed
Andy was the
It is a fact that
recommended Andy's name to publishers and illustrators
who are looking for this kind of expertise. But 1 seriously
didn't know where Andy was coming from. What was this
fuss all about? Did I imply he was jumping the succession
line? I simply couldn't put my finger on it.
I decided to keep everything to myself, so I ended my
treatise with: "Fourth, name me a paper engineer (or
paper engineers) that has (have) recently made great
strides in the pull-tab mech arena. C'mon, this should be
an easy one to answer since it's a VERY, VERY short list.
Enough said." I don't know if Andy didn't but I certainly
did hear the generous praises he got from the crowd at the
Pull-tab Maker. The future "Baron
of Saute Fe." Andrew Baron wrote,
"I called my mom and she says it's
a school picture from approximately
the fourth grade, so I would have
been about ten."
New York Conference after he wowed them with his paper
Anyway, I thought that was the last I would hear from
Andy about the subject, so I moved on to my next
assignment. I began to do a little research in preparation for
an interview with BWJ Managing Director Graham Brown.
And what would I discover on my first day of
cyber-sleuthing? Graham Marks in Publishing News had
bestowed on Graham Brown the "King of the Pop-ups" title.
Another movable maelstrom in the making? I made a mental
note of it and I promised myself that I would take it up with
A few days later, I received this apologetic note from
Andy: "Please don't be upset with me, but I called Ann just
a little while ago, and asked her to make a tiny change to the
article by substituting 'pull-tab' in place of 'movable' in the
sentence that was making me nervous. This keeps your
intent while providing a specific term for anyone who might
perceive 'movable' as a general description."
Here I was, tearing my hair out, carefully crafting the
Graham questionnaire, trying to find a tactful way of
introducing the "King of the Pop-ups" subject ~ and I
receive this note from Andy. What a welcome break from
this thankless, tortuous exercise! I never had a good chuckle
in ages. 1 replied: "I am not upset but amused. I initially
wrote 'pull-tab crown' (certainly more precise as far as our
movable lexicon is concerned) but decided to use 'movable
crown' instead since the former, after a second reading,
reminded me of beer (or soda) containers!"
I explained: "A 'pull-tab' was a 'ring' a drinker pulled to
open a beer can. (I say 'was' because the 'ring pull-tab' [or
RPT, for short] has since been replaced by a 'push-tab,'
which does not separate from the can. I believe this
innovation prevented people from littering. One wonders
how many non-biodegradable aluminum RPTs people have
thrown out of their car windows?) A 'crown,' on the other
hand, is the crimped cap on a beer bottle. So you can
imagine my amusement when I re-read the sentence. (Yes,
I've written countless briefs for beer and soda — and
'pull-tab crown' takes on another dimension given my
advertising and marketing background.) I could see in my
mind a picture of Andrew Baron wearing a gigantic beer cap
on his head!"
1 continued: "Thus I revised it to 'movable crown' —
comfortable with the thought that it was within the context
of Meggendorfer and Wehr who are known for their pull (or
slide) tabs, and certainly not pop-ups. As every MBS
member knows, the first true pop-ups, technically speaking,
were created by Harold B. Lentz and S. Louis Giraud (with
partner Theodore Brown) in the 1930s."
Finally, I wrote: "Anyway, at this point, I seriously
don't think 'pull-tab crown' would be mistakenly confused
with beer containers since the term is likewise within the
context of Lothar and Julian. (I just hope I'm the only
MBS member who's familiar with the other meaning of
'pull-tab crown.' I don't want to be the cause of any ugly
rumor that Lothar Meggendorfer, Julian Wehr and
Andrew Baron were/are inveterate inebriates.) Yes, I can
absolutely live with 'pull-tab crown.'"
With that out of the way, I continued to work on the
Graham Brown interview. I managed to slip in the "King
of the Pop-ups" question and Graham gamely clarified
that the epithet was "really a journalistic pun on my
e-mail address" - referring to the 'popking' in
<graham@popking. demon. co. uk>. He humbly
acknowledged: "I think I have added (to) and been
formative in the pop-up world but (I) wouldn't take the
title of 'King.'" After my experience with Andy, I made it
a point that this revelation would appear in the first
paragraph and not somewhere else in the article.
After two days of putting the write-up together, as a
courtesy, just like I did with Andy, I cleared my first draft
with Graham. He wrote back: "I'm in Spain but will read
(your article) again over the weekend. I should mention
Wally [Intervisual's Waldo H. Hunt] as he has been a
great friend." A day later, Graham affixed these two
sentences to the first paragraph: "This [referring to the
'King of the Pop-ups' title] can only really be attributed to
Wally. Without him none of us would be in the business
as it probably wouldn't exist."
Suddenly, everything made sense to me. I finally knew
where Andy was coming from. This wasn't about him
jumping the succession line. It had nothing to do with
royalty. Our pop-up planet was not ruled by "royalty" but
by another seven-letter "R" word called "respect." No
wonder Andy was quibbling about one innocuous word.
No wonder Graham asked me to wait one night for two
sentences. It was all about "respect." Respect for their
peers, their colleagues, their mentors and their friends.
Yes, I'd like to report that this royalty rubbish is just a
crass creation of a puerile press. David Carter states: "I
have never understood the fascination with royalty; and I
certainly do not think the art of pop-ups, or any art form,
should have anything to do with it in any way, shape or
form. But if there was to be a King, Wally would certainly
be the top choice. I agree with Graham Brown that,
without Waldo, the pop-up industry that we know today
would simply not exist." I fly across cyberspace in my
laptop to ask Michael Dawson for his opinion. Michael
concurs: "Undoubtably, Wally's influence has been
enormous so I can understand Graham Brown's reluctance
to steal his thunder."
David Carter fondly adds: "I have known Wally for close
to twenty years and, now that I think of it, I would choose to
refer to Wally as 'The Godfather of Pop-ups' or 'The
Energizer Bunny of Pop-ups' or even 'The Timex of
Pop-ups' — he takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'! — and
you can print that." So I e-mail the "Godfather of Pop-ups"
to ask him what he thinks of all this adulation, er, respect
from Graham and the rest.
He replies by Royal
Fax: "I confess,
consider me the
All I can do is
you can decide
mail, and point of
The Little Prince. The future
"King of New York." Robert Sabuda
labeled this picture "little paper
engineer" but wrote, "Sorry,
no photos with scissors."
book lines for Random House and Hallmark from 1 965 to
1973. 1 launched Intervisual in 1974 and we have produced
over 1,300 moveable book titles to date and millions of
pop-up magazine inserts and premium books for major
advertisers." While the numbers are evident, Wally's
immense contribution to the Second Golden Age of Pop-up
Books is immeasurable. I can fully understand why David
and Graham bow their heads in respect.
The "Energizer Bunny of Pop-ups" keeps on going: "The
millions of books we have produced and delivered to over
200 publishers throughout the world have had a retail value
of over one billion dollars." The "enormous influence" that
Michael is talking about seems like an understatement now.
The "Timex of Pop-ups" finally writes: "In 1991 we spun
off our commercial division to RR Donnelly. It continued
with the name Intervisual Communications and we became
Intervisual Books. Our non-compete agreement expired
several years ago and we are once again in the commercial
(Author's Note: I have only met the "Energizer Bunny
of Pop-ups" once - and that was 3 years ago ~ yet he
hasn't forgotten me. I received a surprise package from
the lovable, thoughtful man this April. Wally wrote:
"Intervisual is back in the premium business and we have
two items to add to your collection." These were the Kid
Rhino "Blue's Big Musical" and "All Aboard with
Thomas" pop-up CD packages/playsets — two wonderful
additions to my movable music packaging collection. Yes,
the king is kind, too.)
Meanwhile, the "Baron of Santa Fe" reminisces: "I
well remember RPTs. When I was a little guy at the beach
in Miami where I grew up, while my brother and sister
were playing in the surf I was scouring the sand in search
of pull-tabs to make into chains. I recall that I put together
chains of RPTs that were longer than I was tall. I don't
remember what I did with them after I got them home
(Mom probably threw them away when I was at school)."
The ex-maker of pull-tab chains continues: "I don't
think I can read the words 'pull-tab crown' in quite the
same way now. You're the first, but probably far from the
last to draw the comparison on these words. I guess the
only upside is that I can now honestly say that my
experience with pull-tabs goes back to my earliest
childhood! (Sounds better than 1995, anyway). Perhaps
a caricature of me with a crimped-on crown and a ring
pull-tab necklace should be my new logo!"
Robert Sabuda states: "The best pull-tab maker today
is without a doubt Andrew Baron. His designs are unique,
complex, thoughtful and he doesn't skimp on the amount
of paper or rivets needed to accomplish an action. His
upcoming book This Old Man, illustrated by multiple
Caldecott-winner Paul O. Zelinsky, is a tour-de-force of
pull-tab movement." I can hear the "Queen of Soul,"
Aretha Franklin, belting out "R-E-S-P-E-C-T" in my
David Carter provides this insight: "This art is much
too individualistic and there is room at the top for
everybody." I totally agree. But be careful, David. Your
publicist might hear you. ("How about the 'King of
Invertebrate Anthropod-ups," Mr. Carter?") And let's
hope those crown-struck, throne-stuck journalists don't
get their hands on your Elements of Pop-up. What's next?
The "Emperor of Parallel Folds" The "Tetrarch of Tube
Straps"? The list is actually endless. The "Czar of Post
Armatures"? The "Viceroy of V-Folds"? This is a family
publication so I'm not gonna go there.
Since some people collect pop-ups with a religious fervor,
some monikers can be quite, er, reverent. Tom Nelson,
author of Perfect Pop-up: Greeting Cards the Easy Way
(1993), is called the "Pope ofPop-ups." Tom admits that this
is "an entirely self-assumed sobriquet" which he took when
he published the said book. Ann Montanaro, amused by this
self-baptism, exclaims: Tm trying to decide how to market
myself now that I see how easy it is to do!" How about the
"Mother Superior of Movables," Ann?
Michael Dawson offers this personal observation: "I
think it's a bit pointless trying to award imaginary honors,
especially since I'm a republican!" Long live the pop-up
republic! And long live respect!
And what does Robert think of the "Prince of Paper"
handle? "The title 'Prince of Pop-ups' is rather strange. Is it
because I'm young? When I get old will I become the
'Queen Mother of Pop-ups'?" No you won't, Robert, for two
One, it is written
in the stars that
you shall be King.
The "Lady of
"Like many a
prince, he will go
on to become
King by virtue of
age. This issue of
not be strictly
like UK royalty.
When he is either
old enough, has
'winners' or is
just 'ready,' he
will be crowned.
I think of him
as the Crown
youthful) who is
destined to be King."
Two, the "Queen
of Pop-ups" position
is no longer vacant.
After a little arm-twisting, David Carter complies: "Well, all
right, if you insist. Determining the 'Queen of Pop-ups' is
going to be much more difficult. But I would have to say that
the honor would have to go to Wally's wife Pat Hunt. Even
though Pat has never been involved in the day-to-day
business of pop-ups. she has had to deal with Wally's
Ellen Teddy. The Future "Lady
of Pop-ups." "Ellen Gail Kreiger
at about 3 years old with her
constant companion teddy bear. I
Never had a pop-up book or saw
one until my sons were born."
24-hour-a-day obsession. For forty years Wally has
dragged her around the world in the pursuit of pop-ups,
for forty years she has been on call to house and entertain
Wally's pop-up guests. She has been Wally's support
through the highs and the lows. Pat Hunt deserves to be
anointed the 'Queen of Pop-ups' if for no other reason
than she has put up with the 'King of Pop-ups' for all of
these years. And I think that even though she may not
admit it, she loves pop-ups as much as Waldo does; and
can you imagine all of the insider stories she must know."
Hmmm...I smell another article coming.
The "Prince of
"Maybe the 'Duke'
or 'Earl of Pop-ups'
would be better
because no one
really cares what
Dukes or Earls do.
They just gallivant
off, having fun
and not worrying
about the miserable
pressure of palace
life." I am distressed
by this display of
bended knee, I ask
the "Lady of
Pop-ups" if he truly
deserves the "Prince
of Paper" title. She
snaps at me "Is he
What a question!!!"
The palace guards fling me across the moat
The Royal Hunts. Pat and Wally
Hunt. David Carter wrote: "This
is a recent photo, I would say it
was taken in 2001."
Perhaps the closest brush our movable nation will ever
have with royalty occurred a little over five-and-a-half
centuries ago. In 1541, Charles V, emperor of the Holy
Roman Empire (15 19-56), gave Petrus Apianus, his royal
astronomer, the sum of 3000 florins and granted him a
patent of nobility - an act of respect, if I may add — for his
volvelle-laden masterpiece, Astronomicum Caesareum.
For the meanwhile, our movable "non-monarchy" has
to be content with pop-up images of castles and knights —
and of Prince Charles and Lady Di. Yes, I can absolutely
live with that, pull-tab crowns and all.
New Novel Has Paper Engineer Character
Roy C. Dicks
Raleigh, North Carolina
Movable Book Society members should delight in a
recently published novel, The Grand Complication by Allen
Kurzweil (Theia/Hyperion, 2001, $24.95, 0-7868-6603-9).
Besides featuring a reference librarian as the lead character
and a plot concerning the pursuit of a rare antique by an
obsessed collector, the book contains a number of references
to pop-ups and movables.
Author Kurzweil obviously has had good advice from his
acknowledged pop-up experts, Carol Barton (an MBS
member) and Michelle Venditelli. He has made the wife of
the main character a paper engineer who teaches pop-up
design and works up creative advertising movables for
various clients. The descriptions of her home studio (paper
scraps piled up in the hallway, glue pots everywhere) and
her movable ad designs (swaying palms for a travel
brochure, a pop-up leg splint for a medical supply company)
are believable and apt.
There is a clever sequence about the courtship of the
librarian Alexander and his wife Nic, which includes
references to a manuscript with volvelles and the
Meggendorfer Circus. Nic also later creates her own pop-up
version of the Kama Sutra (apparently more explicit than the
1984 one by Jonathan Biggs!) In another section, Nic is
teaching her class to do full dissolves. Additionally, there are
mentions of paper making, bookbinding and calligraphy.
Unfortunately, the paper
engineering elements are only
incidental to the plot and
appear sparingly throughout
the book. Nonetheless, since
most MBS members are book
lovers and many are obsessed
collectors, The Grand
Complication will have much
appeal. The plot moves
quickly, with Alexander being
hired to do research on a
missing item from an
eighteenth century cabinet,
which leads to many
revelations and surprises. The
ending may be too contrived for some, but getting to that
point is great fun. Now the challenge is for someone to do a
full novel about a paper engineer. Any takers out there?
SMrTHSONIAN INSTITUTION LIBRARIES
Questions and Answers
Q. Have you ever had pop-up jewelry? The Paper
Jewelry Collection by Wendy Ramshaw and David
Watkins (Thames & Hudson, 2000) is a stunning book of
pop-out paper jewelry to wear. It is for adults, not
children. There are over 20 high fashion necklaces,
bracelets, earrings, pins and rings. Included are micro-
perforated custom papers, metal findings, clear
instructions and color photos of the finished pieces. No
tools are required to assemble the pieces. I recommend
two copies of this book, one to make the jewelry and one
Livingston, New Jersey
Q. A book seller has contacted me about selling two
books: Peeps Into Fairyland (1895) and Haining's
Movable Books ( 1 979) she would prefer to sell both books
together but would consider selling them individually. If
you are interested, please contact me and I will give you
the seller's name.
East Brunswick, New Jersey
&avfd A. Carter's
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Q. I want to share my
experiences with ordering
the Curious Critters book. I
online book dealer to order
the book along with some
other pop-ups, and other
In the first copy that
they sent, the binding was
bent, and the tab arrows
showed wear. On the first
illustration, "Acrobaterpillars," the hoop was out of shape.
On the third illustation, "The Shine-o-saur," the silver
wing of the bottom creature was broken off. On the fifth
illustration, "The Grinsect," the tab did not work
I returned the copy and order another copy from
There were defects with this second copy. There was a
problem again with the "Grinsect" page, where the tab did
not work properly. The tab did not work at all on the
"Sopranosaurus" page, and the voice of the "Soprano"
when the button was pressed was not quite right.
At this point I did not want to even risk getting a third
copy with possible other defects. I have returned both and
will receive credit. I think the book is wonderful, so I then
called around to some local book stores. The Barnes and
Noble store in Santa Barbara had two copies. I went down
to the store and the copy that they were holding for me at
3 9088 01629 2971
the counter was also defective. As with the first copy that
BAM sent me, the silver wing of the bottom creature was
broken off. Fortunately they had another copy still in its
original plastic wrapper. This turned out to be a perfect
I'm pretty sure that other collectors have experienced the
same thing. I realize that there are a lot of factors that can
cause defects, these books are very delicately constructed.
Also the fact that many of the books in bookstores are on
open shelves, and many people, including myself, can go
through them to see what they are like can cause harm
through repeated handling with not enough care. Perhaps it
is the luck of the draw. The other pop-ups that I ordered
from BAM came in perfect condition. Perhaps the best
guarantee to get a perfect copy is to purchase one that is in
its original plastic wrapping. And then perhaps in some
cases there is a breakdown in quality control in the
construction of some of the books. I'd be interested in
knowing what other collectors have experienced.
Santa Barbara, CA
Pop-ups in the News
"Join the Pop-up Book Club!" reads the headline under
"Great Finds" in the Winter, 2001 issue of Country
Collectibles. The two-page article includes a brief history of
pop-ups and seven color photographs.
The article "Authors of Invention" in Book Magazine,
November/December 2001, includes a paragraph on "Pop
Star: Lothar Meggendorfer, Poohbah of the Pop-up Book."
The following titles have been identified from pre-
publication publicity, publisher's catalogs, or advertising. All
titles include pop-ups unless otherwise identified.
Dr Optic 's Amazing Illusions. Macmillan Children 's Bookd
(London). 12" x 12". 10 pages. 0-333-78126-0.
Pop Goes the Monster! A Powerpuff Girls Pop-up
Adventure. 9" x 10". 12 pages. 0-439-30548-9.
Snappy Little Families. 9" x 11 ". 20 pages. Millbrook Press.
Also: Snappy Little Jungle.
Soccer. Robert Crowther. Candlewick Press. 9" x 12". 10
pages. $17.99. 0-7636-1627-3.